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Ty Pozzobon of Merritt was bucked off for the second straight day at the Calgary Stampede and needs a big day today to advance to Sunday's championship finale.

Pozzobon is sixth in Pool B.

The top four money winners in each pool advance to Showdown Sunday.

The remaining six competitors in both pools will compete tomorrow on Wild Card Saturday, with the top two in each event advancing to Sunday.

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The Great Canadian Bike Rally officially got underway in Merritt at 11 o'clock yesterday morning.

Fraser-Nicola N-D-P M-L-A Harry Lali says it's good for the economy in Merritt and the Nicola Valley with an estimated 10,000 bikers expected to visit over four days.

The Great Canadian Bike Rally is being held for the first time this year and organizers are hoping it becomes an annual event.

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The Communities in Bloom judges will be in Merritt on Monday tor their first tour in a couple of years.

City Councillor Shelley Sanders says because it's not a judging year, there's been no pressure on the city to get ready.

Sanders says this visit gives the city a much better feel of how to proceed next year, when they go the competitive route.

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The M-P for Okanagan-Coquihalla was back in Merritt yesterday, this time to meet with B-C Premier Christy Clark and to take in the opening of the Great Canadian Bike Rally.

Dan Albas is praising the work of the community for so many great events in month of July alone.

Albas is referring to Mountainfest last weekend, and looking ahead to the week long Centennial celebrations during the last week of July, as well as the Great Canadian Bike Rally underway this weekend.

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With the amount of activity, and, the special guests in Merritt recently, Merritt's Mayor says it brings an heir of optimism that hasn't been seen in a long time.

Susan Roline calls it the three "E"s: entertainment, economic and eyes - new eyes to see Merritt.

Among the key politicians in Merritt yesterday was Premier Christy Clark, seeing the City and it's people first hand.

Mayor Roline feels optimistic that in itself will help down the road.

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